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Media Literacy: Helping to Educate the Public in a Rapidly Changing World

This workshop was based on a new series of CIMA reports on media literacy: Understanding the News and Citizen Journalism by Susan Moeller and Empowering Youth Worldwide by Paul Mihailidis. A media literate population is crucial to sustaining democracy, yet few media development programs are specifically geared towards this issue. The goal of this workshop was to discuss the role of media literacy training in providing the public with tools to be active and informed citizens. Among questions participants discussed were: How can the development community play a larger role in helping citizens become media literate? Should there be greater emphasis on youth media literacy education in schools? How do citizens know how to sort fact from opinion and propaganda on the Internet and other media?


Agenda

Session I: Overview of Media Literacy

Moderator
Marguerite Sullivan

Senior Director
CIMA

General Public
Susan Moeller
Author of Understanding the News
Director, International Center for Media and the Public Agenda, and Professor, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland

Youth Education
Paul Mihailidis

Author of Empowering Youth Worldwide
Assistant Professor, Hofstra University
Director of Media Education Initiatives, International Center for Media and the Public Agenda, University of Maryland

News Literacy in the Classroom
Dean Miller
Director
Center for News Literacy
Stony Brook University

Open Discussion

  • What are universal objectives for media literacy projects?
  • How can the development community play a larger role in helping citizens to become media literate?
  • Since conditions in each country are different, how can “lessons learned” in one be copied in another (or should they)?
  • How can such programs be monitored and evaluated?

Session II: Media Literacy for Citizen Journalism

Moderator
Marguerite Sullivan
Senior Director
CIMA

News Consumers as News Producers
Susan Moeller

Author of Citizen Journalism
Director, International Center for Media and the Public Agenda, and Professor, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland

Network Journalism
Patrick Cooper

Product Innovation Team
USA TODAY

Media Literacy and Copyright
Patricia Aufderheide

Professor and Director, Center for Social Media, School of Communication, American University

Interactive Journalism in the Public Sphere
Shanthi Kalathil

Consultant, CommGAP
World Bank

Open Discussion

  • What happens when citizen journalists do not check the sources of their information?
  • How can they be made to understand the importance of accurate news?
  • How can donors support citizen journalists living under repressive regimes where independent media doesn’t exist and the need for investigativereporting is the greatest?